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Social Networking Lesson from Seth Godin: Getting Others to “Spread the Word”

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I’m a big fan of Seth Godin as both an author and a marketer. As a subscriber to his blog feed, each day I receive a great tip, article, piece of advice–and occasionally an offer or direct promotion. Today, I received a direct promotion for his newest book titled Linchpin. In this email promotion he’s not necessarily trying sell you his book.  Instead, he’s trying to recruit you to sell his book for him!

He is leveraging the power of social networks and influencers.  Over time–and through a lot of hard work–he has built a loyal following.  So now, instead of being one man trying to sell a book, he’s asking his readers to become evangelists and “Spread the Word” for him.  Click on the link below to see the email I’m referring to and a great example of how to leverage your network to “Spread the Word”.  It sure worked on me!

Example: Original Email Received as a Subsriber to Seth Godin’s Blog
From: FeedBlitz [mailto:[email protected]] On Behalf Of Seth Godin
Sent: Thursday, March 11, 2010 3:42 PM
To: Bradley M. Smith
Subject: Seth’s Blog : Helping spread the word

[You’re getting this note because you subscribed to Seth Godin’s blog.]

Helping spread the word
Since Linchpin was published six weeks ago, I’ve gotten some terrific email. Most of it is about individuals who used the ideas in the book to instigate a process of self-reinvention or validation. Some of the best mail, though, has come from managers and leaders who are using the book to inspire others. One company bought 800 copies for its management, while another reader told me how two copies helped change the way her organization coped with change. When I find a book that moves me, I spread it to everyone who’s willing to listen. I hope you feel the same way.

It’s ever more clear to me that an author has very little chance of writing a book that goes directly to a large number of new readers who become book buyers. There’s not enough time or money or leverage to get in front of a stranger and say, “here, read this!”  On the other hand, that’s exactly what someone like you can do. “Here, read this, and then let’s discuss it…” In fact, I’d argue that just about every book that has made an impact has spread in exactly that way.

Given that truth, here are two ways I’d like to support you if you think the ideas in Linchpin are worth spreading:

We’re working with 800 CEO Read to offer the following: buy five copies of Linchpin and we’ll send you a digital ten-page reader’s guide. Packed with questions and ideas dreamed up by fellow readers that you can use to inspire or guide group conversations.
Buy five, give them away, have a conversation, make change. (PDF will be sent by email to arrive before your books do). I think you’ll be delighted at the impact five books can have on the people you work with or teach.

I’m going to do a live session in New York on April 16, 2010. Instead of charging my usual fee for tickets, I’m offering seats only to people interested and able to train lots of others. If you’re a manager, a coach, a teacher, the leader of an organization or someone who has the desire to teach a group about the ideas in Linchpin, I’d love to have you come.

The entire session will be focused on how to talk about and spread the ideas in the book. Because it’s a small group, seats are limited and are reserved for people who can buy fifty or more copies of the book from the retailer of your choice. All the details are here. We’ll accept applications until all the seats are allocated, so hurry.

Thanks to each of you who have read the book and hugs to those of you touched enough by it to want to share it with others. I appreciate it. Your support made it a NY Times bestseller, #1 in the Journal, etc., but I’m far more satisfied that it has helped people do something that they’ve always wanted to do. Thanks for making something happen.

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